Back Story – Why I Cook

Pear Butter after 12 hours in the crockpot.

Pear Butter after 12 hours in the crockpot.

My first wife, Gwen, is an awesome home cook.  Her parents were a mixture of German and Romanian, and always had a pot of something on the stove, be it pasta sauce with paprika and green peppers, sausage and sauerkraut or pork roast sitting on sliced potatoes with fluffy dumplings simmering on the top.  I begged for the pork recipe for years and was finally rewarded (long after the divorce) with a framed calligraphy copy.

I bring this up because she instilled in me and our two boys a love of the kitchen and an inquiring nose and palette, attributes I was not exposed to as a child (my mom would cover a meatloaf with Campbell’s tomato soup from a can).  As I write this I have homegrown homemade pear butter simmering in a crockpot with pungent whiffs of cinnamon, ginger, raw sugar and pear.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if either of our sons have something half finished in the fridge that will hit the stove tomorrow.

My wife Christine, while a fantastic cook with a recipe in front of her, is not drawn to it, and happens to be the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Recording Academy.  She runs the GRAMMYs, for crying out loud.  She’s out of town a lot, and it’s not always fun to cook for one.  I do enjoy cooking large meals and freezing individual portions for later (with the use of my beloved Food Saver system, a topic for a separate post), but it’s much more enjoyable to get one or all of my kids into the kitchen for  a spontaneous cooking and drinking extravaganza.  Which happens often…stay tuned.  Ciao for now. CG